As any small dog lover knows, your dog’s size on paper doesn’t necessarily determine their personality. Plenty of small pups boast a big presence—even if they need stairs to jump up onto your bed. And the name that you give them is a great way to celebrate all of the many facets of their tiny being.
Whether you opt for a name that speaks to your dog’s small stature or one that acknowledges that there’s more to your pup than meets the eye, the best small dog names are those that fit your individual furry friend in all their small but mighty glory. Need help picking the right one? We’ve compiled our favorite small dog names in one place, so scroll down for lots of naming inspiration.
Top Small Dog Names
Small dogs are incredibly popular all around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Small breeds like Chihuahuas, Papillons, Dachshunds, Pugs, and Yorkies, plus all of their many mixed iterations, run the gamut in terms of personality and attitude—and they look awfully cute while doing it. They also make excellent companions, and are easy to travel and explore with. But before you can settle in with your small pup by your side (or in your lap), you’ll need to be sure to choose the right name for them. And a good place to start is with these popular small dog names.
- Pippen (Pip)
Tips For Naming Your Dog
There are no definitive rules when it comes to what you name your dog, but there are some general guidelines that you should follow so that you choose a name that isn’t confusing for your pup. Picking a name for your dog is a big deal, and it’s going to be with them for life, so put some thought into it and make sure that you go with a name that you really like.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re naming your dog:
- For training purposes, a name that starts with a hard letter such as S, T, or R might be easiest for your dog to pick up on.
- Try to keep your dog’s name to one or two syllables, which will help them understand what their name is. If you prefer a longer name, keep that name on paper but have a shorter nickname that you use for day to day communication.
- Names that rhyme with key commands, such as May (“stay”), Bo (“no”), and Kitt (“sit”) could get confusing for your dog, so keep that in mind when making your choice.
- Don’t pick a name that you’ll be embarrassed to say out loud. While it may seem silly in the moment, keep in mind that whatever name you choose for your dog is one that you’ll have to call out regularly, including in public places like the vet and dog park.
- It’s perfectly okay to change your dog’s name if you don’t like it after a couple of days! Pick a name, try it out, and see how you like it—as well as how your dog responds. If the name seems off, it’s better to switch it then stick with it.
Female Small Dog Names
There’s no right or wrong way to go when it comes to naming your small dog, but you might want to consider something short like she is, or a name that conveys her sweet and delicate persona (even if her bark suggests that she’s anything but). Here are some ideas.
Male Small Dog Names
What your male dog lacks in size he more than likely makes up for in spunk. These small dog names for boy dogs do justice to their uniqueness while also acknowledging just how darn cute they are.
Famous Small Dog Names
For more small dog naming inspiration, movies, books, video games, and famous historical figures can all provide some ideas. These names belong to small characters who’ve made a big impact on popular culture, and any would be a good name for your small pup.
- Diddy (Kong)
- Yogi (Berra)
Food Inspired Small Dog Names
There's nothing cuter and funnier than a small dog named after a food. Take a peek into your pantry or fridge, or wait a few days to see what your pup loves to eat and name them after that. Here are some of our favorite food-inspired names for small dogs.
- Fish Stick
- Pork Chop
Other Dog Name Ideas
Looking for even more dog naming inspiration? Take a look at these helpful roundups: